IJN Akitsushima: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2004 Anthony P. Tully

29 April 1942
Completed at Kobe and assigned to 11th Air Fleet, 25th Air Flotilla. Equipping Officer Captain Mayazumi Haruo assumes command. Departed same day.

30 April 1942:
Arrived at Yokosuka.

15 May 1942:
Departed Yokosuka for Saipan.

19 May 1942:
Arrived at Saipan; departed next day.

24 May 1942:
Arrived at Rabaul.

25 May 1942:
Assigned to Base Air Force, # 1 Special Duty Unit of 5th Air Attack Force of the 11th Air Fleet.

16 August 1946:
June 1942:
At Rabaul throughout. Bombed five times during this month but sustained no damage.

July 1942:
Same as above; on 17 July near-missed by bomb but no damage.

7 August 1942:
Depart Rabaul in support of Japanese air counter-attack on the Guadalcanal landings. Patrols in the Gizo Channel to rescue downed planes and their crews.

8 August 1942:
1530: Exchanges signal information with, but is not tasked to follow or join, the Mikawa cruiser squadron on the way to the Battle of Savo Island.

10 August 1942:
Returns to Rabaul.

15 August 1942:
Departed Rabaul for the Shortlands.

16 August 1942:
Arrived at Shortlands.

29 August 1942:
Departed Shortlands for Buka.

30 August 1942:
Arrived at Buka; bombed three times with no damage.

1 September 1942:
Bombed at Buka, "trifling" damage sustained, departed for Shortlands. For remainder of month, circulating between Buka, Shortlands, and Rabaul. Sustained bombing attack on five separate occasions but no further damage.

October 1942:
Same as above. Sustained four more air attacks, but no damage.

11 October 1942:
At Rabaul refueled by auxiliary oiler KYOEI MARU.

November 1942:
Remained attached to Base Air Force, 11th Air Fleet. Circulating between Rabaul and Kavieng. Under bombing twice, but no damage received.

3 December 1942:
Captain Mayazumi relieved by Captain Takao Yoshimi. [Note: Given her departure the next day, it is possible that Captain Takao did not board the ship till arrival at Yokosuka.].

4 December 1942:
Departed Rabaul for Yokosuka.

12 December 1942:
Arrived at Yokosuka.

23 December 1942:
Entered drydock at Yokosuka.

30 December 1942:
Undocked, assignment as before.

15 January 1943:
Departed Yokosuka for Kavieng.

22 January 1943:
Depart Kavieng, heretofore circulating between Kavieng, Mewe, Rabaul, Buka, and Shortland.

23 January 1943:
At 1645 in position 15 miles southwest of Kavieng, escorting destroyer HAKAZE detects a submarine and charges, only to be torpedoed in the starboard side by USS GUARDFISH (SS-217), jacknife, and sink. Quick rescue work by AKITSUSHIMA saves DD CO LtCdr. Mashinori Kashima and most of the crew, but 13 are lost.

24 January 1943:
Bombed at Rabaul; no damage.

26 January 1943:
At Rabaul; bombed in harbor, no damage.

1 February 1943:
Arrived at Shortland, remains there. Bombed three times during stay there, but no damage.

15 February 1943:
Assigned to Base Air Force, # 1 Special Duty Unit of 2nd Air Attack Force.

21 February 1943:
Depart Shortland.

24 February 1943:
Arrives at Nauru; proceeds to Jaluit.

26 February 1943:
Arrives at Jaluit; departs next day.

27 February 1943:
Arrives at Ruotto.

28 February 1943:
Depart Ruotto for Wake.

2 March 1943:
Depart Wake, proceeding to Makin Island via Ruotto, Kwajalein, and Jaluit.

5 March 1943:
At Roi provisioned by auxiliary storeship KITAKAMI MARU.

12 March 1943:
Arrived at Makin; provisions from auxiliary storeship KITIKAMI MARU and remains till end of month.

31 March 1943:
Departs Makin; arrives next day at Imieji.

11 April 1943:
Depart Imieji; arrives Makin next day.

26 April 1943:
Depart Makin for Imieji; arrives next day; proceeds to Jaluit.

28 April 1943:
Arrives at Jaluit.

2 May 1943:
At Jabor provisioned by auxiliary storeship KITAKAMI MARU.

3 May 1943:
Depart Jaluit; arrives same day at Imieji. Remains there till end of month.

6 June 1943:
At Jabor[Imeiji]. Assigned to Eastern Force, # 1 Special Duty Unit of Air Force (under 11th Air Fleet). Provisioned by auxliary storeship KITAKAMI MARU then departs Imieji for Shortland.

10 June 1943:
Arrives at Shortland; departs and arrives at Rabaul next day.

12 June 1943:
Depart Rabaul.

15 June 1943:
Assignment changed to 2nd Base Air Force, # 4 Force of 21st Air Attack Force (under 11th Air Fleet).

16 June 1943:
Arrives at Imieji. Prior to her arrival, auxiliary netlayer UJI MARU conducts an advance sweep on her course. Stays till 18th.

25 June 1943:
Return to Yokosuka.

30 June 1943:
Depart Yokosuka.

2 July 1943:
Off Hakodate today and the next.

6 July 1943:
Arrives at Kashiwabara and remains till end of month.

19 July 1943:
Air attack at Kashiwabara, no damage.

12 August 1943:
Bombed at Kashiwabara, no damage.

26 August 1943:
Captain Takao relieved by Captain Fujimaki Yashinori.

28 August 1943:
Assigned to Northeastern Area Forces.

29 August 1943:
Depart Kashiwabara for Yokosuka.

2 September 1943:
Arrive at Yokosuka; attached to Combined Fleet (under 11th Air Fleet) the next day.

16 September 1943:
Depart Yokosuka for Chinese coast.

20 September 1943:
Arrive at Shanghai.

24 September 1943:
Depart Shanghai for Truk.

2 October 1943:
Arrive at Truk.

14 October 1943:
Depart Truk for Yokosuka.

21 October 1943:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

4 November 1943:
Depart Yokosuka; arrive Yokohoma.

10 November 1943:
Enter drydock at Yokohoma.

15 November 1943:
Undocked from drydock; but has to re-enter on 20 November.

23 November 1943:
Undocked from drydock for the second time.

27 November 1943:
Return to Yokosuka.

3 December 1943:
Depart Yokosuka for Truk escorted by kaibokan AMAKUSA.

9 December 1943:
Arrive at Truk. Remains to the end of the year.

January 1944:
Remains at Truk throughout, same assignment to Combined Fleet forces.

6 February 1944:
Assignment changed to Inner South Sea Area Force.

8 February 1944:
Depart Truk, making runs to Ponape thru mid-month.

10 February 1944:
0810 Arrrives at Truk with AKAGI MARU following ferrying of troops to Ponape. Another run to Ponape follows shortly.

15 February 1944:
0100 Departs Ponape with SC 33 for Truk.

16 February 1944:
0800 Return to Truk.

17 February 1944:
Air-raided at Truk by TF 58.
0320: Two 1,000 pound bombs dropped by planes from USS ENTERPRISE strike the ship; one forward of the bridge, the other on the very end of the fantail, damaging the plane crane.

18 February 1944:
Still at Truk: Received third bomb hit just aft of amidships, which starts a large fire. Depart.

19 February 1944:
Arrive at Mereyon from Truk.

22 February 1944:
Depart Mereyon for Palau with HARUSAME.

25 February 1944:
1137 Arrive at Palau.

4 March 1944:
At Palau. Assignment changed to 14th Air Fleet under Combined Fleet. Depart for Saipan.

7 March 1944:
Arrive at Saipan.

9 March 1944:
Depart Saipan for homeland.

14 March 1944:
Return to Yokosuka.

2 April 1944:
Enter drydock at Yokosuka for temporary repairs.

13 April 1944:

7 May 1944:
Attached to Central Pacific Area Force (14th Air Fleet). Depart Yokosuka for Kobe.

14 May 1944:
Enter drydock at Kobe.

31 May 1944:

June 1944:
At Kobe all month.

July 1944:
At Kobe all month.

20 July 1944:
Assignment changed to Striking Force, Combined Fleet.

2 August 1944:
Arrive at Kure. Remains most of the month.

30 August 1944:
Departs Kure for Sasebo; arrives next day.

5 September 1944:
Depart Sasebo for Takao via Moji and Imari Bay. Assigned to Striking Force, First Diversion Striking Force.

8 September 1944:
1100: Depart Moji with convoy HI-75 of nine marus screened by CVE SHINYO, DesDiv 30 YUZUKI and UZUKI, frigates KANJU, MIYAKE, and MANJU, convoying nine Marus.

13 September 1944:
Arrive at Takao.

14 September 1944:
HI-75 departs Takao for Singapore, AKITSUSHIMA still in company.

17 September 1944:
1000: AKITSUSHIMA and DesDiv 30 (YUZUKI, UZUKI) detaches from HI-75 accompanied by SAIGON MARU and heads for Manila.

18 September 1944:
Approaching Manila, SAIGON MARU is torpedoed and sunk at 1044 in position 14-20'N, 120-50'E. She blew up and sank, and AKITSUSHIMA proceeded to Manila, followed by YUZUKI and UZUKI after they counter-attacked and conducted rescue attempts.

21 September 1944:
Air-raid Manila by TF 38. Destroyer SATSUKI is sunk, but AKITSUSHIMA suffers no damage; ordered that afternoon to depart at once for Coron Bay.

22 September 1944:
Arrived at Coron Bay from Manila and anchored in the narrow passage between Lajo Island and Manglet Island.

24 September 1944:
0844-0930 Air-raid at Coron: 0905 attacked by more than thirty planes from U.S. TF 38, and suffered two direct bomb hits amidships.At 0915 took a heavy list to starboard. Large bomb hit on the stern catapult track. This set off an enormous explosion, fueld by av-gas fires, that completely blew out the shell on the port quarter, and the stern was kept from breaking loose only by the keel and plates on the starboard side.

Sunk: Capsized to port rapidly and settled on her side to the bottom in position 11-59'N, 119-58'E. Despite the speed of the sinking, Minesweeper # 41 and naval transport T-102 rescued Captain Fujimaki, 25 officers, and most of the crew (25 wounded) or they swam to shore, but 4 officers and 82 ratings were lost.(See Note 1).

27 September 1944:
Survivors of Akitsushima including Captain Fujimaki landed at Manila by Minesweeper # 41 and transport T-102 and were accomodated by Special Base Force # 31.(Note 2)

10 November 1944:

Note 1: On 25 August 1945 salvage teams from USS CHANTICLEER found AKITSUSHIMA on the bottom in 108 feet of water with a 90 degree port list. She was gutted amidships, including damage to the bridge and evidence of high-octane gas fires burning throughout. More wreckage was found to have been blown 50 feet astern.

Note 2: At 1823 25 September 1944 Captain Fujimaki sent a short report giving the sinking details. The initial list was to starboard and the hits noted as "amidships", so it seems likely the destructive bomb blast aft was in fact a third hit by either bomb or torpedo.

Acknowledgements: provides some interesting details on the present wreck site.

Thanks for information in preparing this TROM go to Allan Alseben and Jean-Francois Masson. Thanks also to Bob Hackett who has provided some details for revision.

- A.P. Tully

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